Chili Contests Heat Up Autumn Festivals
Serious chili cooks play to win. They’ll stop at nothing—venison, pheasant (coarsely ground or, better yet, chopped by hand), mail order chili powder from who-knows-where?, sweet corn, unsweetened cocoa, peanut butter, pineapples, bananas, beer, oranges, allspice, tomatillos, tequila, chorizo, chocolate, coffee, cola, honey, cinnamon, pasta, saffron, molasses, vinegar, wine, whiskey, bourbon—the list of “secret ingredients” is endless. As are the variations on the chili theme: with or without beans, with or without meat, chili verde, there’s even a white chili made with poultry and Great Northern white beans.
This weekend, there are two chili-making contests in the RI region. The contestants at Saturday’s Chili contest in Hudson, are competing for over $1,000 in cash prizes. The contest on Sunday, in Connecticut, is part of the 55th Annual Salisbury Fall Festival, a three-day extravaganza with all sorts of activities, including the pro-am Chili Cook-Off, to be held on the Green at the White Hart Inn. Here, the only reward for the cooks is the glory and the glow that comes from knowing they have helped underwrite this winter’s Junior Olympic Ski Jump Competition.
At both events, we, the people, get to lick our chili-smeared chops and pick the winner. (In Salisbury, there’s a separate contest for professional chefs, who will be judged by “professional food critics.”)
In Hudson, suitable boot stompin’ live music will be played throughout the proceedings by the award-winning country band Thunder Ridge, and there’s also lots of fun stuff for kids to do at this annual autumn event. In sophisticated Salisbury, the music will be provided by the Spanish band, Barcelona.
Hudson Valley Chili Contest
Saturday, October 9; noon - 4 p.m.
Henry Hudson Park, Front Street
Admission: $5; children under 5/free
Salisbury Pro-Am Chili Cook-Off
Sunday, October 10; noon - 2 p.m.
The Green at the White Hart Inn
Voting ends at 1:30 p,m.; awards presented at 2 p.m.
Individual admission/$7.50; family/$15
Take-out chili will be available for purchase